Tuesday, August 4, 2020
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Artist: Famine (@)
Title: Anachronisms
Format: CD
Label: DTrash Records (@)
Rated: *****
My last encounter with Famine was on his 2010 album, 'Nature's Twin Tendencies'. I must say that 'Anachronisms' is quite a change, and at first I thought, not for the better. 'NTT' had just so much 'in your face' programming that it was overwhelming, and recently revisiting it (for comparison's sake) did not change my opinion. It's an awesome, relentless album melding breakcore, IDM, glitch, electro, techno-industrial, you name it into a crazy, delirious trip you won't soon forget. 'Anachronisms' is not nearly as bold, and it took me half a dozen listenings to get into it. Written in the alleyways of Winnipeg (where Marty Famine is based) in the Autumn of 2012, the album initially struck me as cold, techno-trance breakcore in comparison with what I'd previously heard from him. Ambiences and synths are downplayed; beats are in the forefront; melody hardly exists; everything seems, well'¦smaller'¦less.

Actually, that's really not quite the case at all, when you listen to the album with phones, which I didn't at first. There's a subtlety at work here that won't be obvious on the first few listenings. With the beats so upfront you can't grasp that right away. First track 'Tablecrasher' is so jarring one can't help but be disoriented. Beats and sounds collide with an unfathomable timing pummeling you again and again and again. I have no earthly idea how it was put together. After that, it becomes a little easier to navigate Famine's terrain, although still often a challenge. Beats are contorted, distorted, manipulated and mixed with elements of god knows what to propel you through Famine's alien landscape of tech-mech madness. The ambiences are the most subtle elements of the compositions, easily overshadowed by the bodacious beat programming, which is more elaborate than you could imagine. Plenty of rhythmic effluvia is also in play, beyond the beats. There is one track ' 'Salbutimol' that could almost be considered jazz in form with kind of an abstract melody that's very intriguing. Maybe future-future jazz. The last two tracks ' 'Filmstrip' and 'Filmstrip' (Valence Drakes Remix) are a radical departure from the rest of the album. Comprised largely of processed, cut-up manipulated voices (with some other electro-acoustic elements), the little rhythm in it seems incidental and more for effect. It comes across as quite hallucinatory and experimental. The remix seemed like an underwater version of the original, filter-suppressing a lot of the elements with some warping techniques, bending stretching and shaping employed. Perhaps this is a logical extension and fitting conclusion to 'Anachronisms'.

I still like 'Nature's Twin Tendencies' better than 'Anachronisms' but it's obvious that Famine has refined his technique on this album as well as progressed into something more cohesive. For some, this may be 'just the droids you're looking for'.


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